Argentine ground forces in the Falklands War


Argentine ground forces in the Falklands War

This is a list of the ground forces from Argentina that took part in the Falklands War. For a list of ground forces from the United Kingdom, see British ground forces in the Falklands War.

Operation Rosario (April 2)

* Amphibious Task Group 40.1 - Rear Admiral of the Marines Carlos Busser
** Amphibious Commandos Group, onboard the destroyer "Santisima Trinidad " landed at Mullet Creek south of Stanley, in inflatable boats
*** 90 men (†1) dubious, more likely 50, too many for a type 42 destroyer plus crew
** "Buzos Tácticos", onboard the submarine ARA Santa Fe, swam ashore.
*** 15 frogmen.
** 2nd Marine Infantry Btn. (BIM 2),
*** embarked on LST ARA Cabo San Antonio (Q42), they landed in 20 LVTP-7 tracked amphibious armoured plus LARC-Vs vehicles
*** and ARA Almirante Irízar (Q-5), inserted on Stanley airport by SH-3 Sea Kings helicopters
**** 500 men
** A 25th Infantry Regiment Company (Argentine Army) airlifted by C-130


=South Georgia (April 3)=

* 1st Marine Infantry Btn. (BIM 1) (†2) , embarked ARA Bahia Paraiso transport and ARA Guerrico corvette
** 60 men

Preparation for war

Two assumptions governed the deployment of the Argentine ground forces on the islands ( _es. Guarnición Militar Malvinas):
*the junta did not believe that the British would use military force to retake the islands, so the the initial landing force had been withdrawn shortly after April 3rd, and was not reinforced until after the British recaptured South Georgia. The intent was to place a large number of troops onto the islands to dissuade the British from any military action. As the Royal Navy had submarines patrolling the immediate area reinforcements had to be airlifted in, which limited the heavy equipment that could be deployed.
*an attack was feared from Chile due to the ongoing Beagle Conflict, as Chile was marshalling troops close to its Southern Argentine border, the Argentinian High Command had to deploy their better trained forces to deter a Chilean attack. As a result neither the mountain warfare regiments, nor a paratroop brigade were available. Furthermore, only one fifth of the cold adapted marine infantry was sent to the islands. The majority of the troops deployed were from sub-tropical areas, the Argentine Mesopotamia region and Buenos Aires Province, and not trained for action in the terrain (they were trained to avoid snakes and sunstroke, not frostbite).
These two incorrect assumptions led to inappropriate troops being sent to the islands. [ Commodore Ruben Oscar Moro "La Guerra Inaudita", 2000 ISBN 987-96007-3-8 ]

In the Argentine Army the entire stock of conscripts was shifted at New Year. "Soldados Clase" ’63 (SC 63) were conscripts born in 1963. April 2nd 1982 SC 63 had had three months of boot camp. The army tried to replace SC 63 with the newly demobilized SC 62 [Martin Middlebrook: "The Argentine fight for the Malvinas - The Argentine Forces in the Falklands War", Pen and Sword Books, 1989, ISBN:0-670-82106-3, p. 51: Every Argentine young man became liable for a twelve-month period of military service in that year he celebrated his 19. birthday. The military year in Argentina began in January when the regiments received the young conscripts. During the year the recruits were trained and released in the last months of the year. Soldados Clase ’63 were conscripts born in 1963. It was possible to wait up to seven years with military service, so Soldados Clase ’59 in 1982 were both lingering conscripts and recalled reservists. Since SC ’63 only had four months of training the army tried to replace them with SC ’62 reservists and two-thirds were changed.] .

Theatre of Operations in the Falkland Islands (April 7 - June 14)

"Guarnición Militar Malvinas"
* Commander: Brigade General Mario Menendez (governor). RI ("Infantry Regiments") were 800 men approx.

3rd Mechanised Infantry Brigade

Commander: Brigade General Omar Parada. Brigade home base: Mesopotamia
* 4th Regiment (RI 4) — "Mount Harriet & Two Sisters (Stanley)" (†23)
** Commander: Lieutenant-Colonel Diego A. Soria.
* 12th Regiment (RI 12) — "Goose Green & Darwin (East Falkland)" (†35)
** Commander: Lieutenant-Colonel Italo A. Piaggi.
* West Falkland
** 5th Regiment (RI 5) — "Port Howard" (†8)
*** Commander: Colonel Juan R. Mabragana
** 8th Regiment, 9th Infantry Brigade (RI 8) — "Fox Bay " (†5)
*** Commander: Lieutenant-Colonel Ernesto A. Repossi.

10th Mechanised Infantry Brigade

Commander: Brigade General Oscar Jofre. Brigade home base: Buenos Aires Province
* 3rd Regiment (RI 3) — "Stanley - aborted urban warfare"
** Commander: Lieutenant-Colonel David U. Comini.
* 6th Regiment (RI 6) — "Stanley Common" (†12)
** Commander: Lieutenant-Colonel Jorge Halperin.
* 7th Regiment (RI 7) — "Mount Longdon & Wireless Ridge (Stanley)" (†36)
** Commander: Lieutenant-Colonel Omar Giménez.
* 25th Regiment (RI 25), 9th Infantry Brigade (attach to 10th Brigade) — "Stanley Airport, Goose Green & San Carlos" (†13)
** Commander: Lieutenant-Colonel Mohamed A. Seineldin.
* 10th Exploration cavalry armoured car squadron (Esc. Expl. C. Bl. 10) "(Stanley)". (†6)
** Commander: Major Alejandro D. Carullo.
** 6 x Panhard APC 90 mm.

Artillery

* 3rd Artillery Group (GA3), 3rd Infantry Brigade (†2)
** Commander: Lieutenant-Colonel Martín A. Balza
** 18 105 mm OTO Melara Mod 56 field guns "(Stanley & Goose Green)".
** 4 x CITER 155mm L33 Guns airlifted from May 15th (from the 101st Artillery Group) "(Stanley)".
* 4th Airborne Artillery Group (GA4), 4th Airborne Brigade (†3) "(Stanley)".
** Commander: Lieutenant-Colonel Carlos A. Quevedo
** 18 105 mm guns.

Miscellaneous Army

* 181st Military Police and Intelligence Coy "(Stanley)". (†1)
* 601st Engineer battalion (BI-601) (†10) "(Fitz Roy bridge demolition)"
** Commander: Major Jorge L. A. Etienot.
** 9th Engineer company
*** Commander: Major Oscar M. Lima.
** 10th Engineer company
*** Commander: Major Carlos R. Matalon.
* 601st Commando [Martin Middlebrook: "The Argentine fight for the Malvinas - The Argentine Forces in the Falklands War", Pen and Sword Books, 1989, ISBN:0-670-82106-3, p. 62 "The Argentine army did not have Special Forces. In the early 70’s commandos were formed but disbanded later in fear of the highly trained groups could be used in a coup d’état. In 1975 they were reformed for the dirty war and disbanded after participating in security during the 1978 World Cup Football. The trained commandos were dispersed throughout the army. About 80 men were assembled in 601st and 602nd Commando companies and send to the Falkland Island. They were beefed up with SWAT like teams from the Gendarmería Nacional – paramilitary frontier guards."] "Port Howard and Murrell River"
** Commander: Major Mario Castagneto
* 602nd Commando "Mount Kent (†5)
** Commander: Major Aldo Rico.
* 601 Combat Aviation Battalion (Batallón de Aviación de Combate 601) See 601 Assault Helicopter Battalion

Marines

* 5th Marine Infantry Btn. (BIM 5) attached to Army — "Mount Tumbledown, Mount William & Sapper Hill (Stanley)" (†16)
** Commander: "Capitan de fragata" (commander) Carlos Hugo Robacio.
* Heavy Machine-Gun Company
** Commander: "teniente de navio" Sergio Dachary. "Stanley Common" (†7)
* Amphibious Engineer Company "Stanley Common" (†4)
** Commander: "capitan de corbeta" Luis A. Menghini
*1st Marine Field Artillery Battalion "Stanley Common" (†2)
* Commander: "teniente de navio" Mario R. Abadal
** 1800 men

Gendarmería (border guards)

*Special Forces Units: (†7) "6 died in the same Puma crash, May 30th"
**Squadron "Atucha" - "Mount Kent (East Falkland)".
**Squadron "Bariloche".
**Squadron "Calafate".
**Squadron "Esquel" - "Smoko Mount (East Falkland)".

Air defences


=Army=

*601st Air defence artillery group (GADA-601). (†6)
** Commander: Lieutenant-Colonel Héctor L. Arias.
** 1 Cardion TPS-44 long range radar.
** 1 Roland SAM system.
** 4 Tigercat SAM triple launchers.
** 6 Skyguard fire control radars each controlling 2 Oerlikon GDF-002 35 mm twin cannons.
** Total of 15 x GDF-002 35 mm twin cannons for Argentine Army (12) and Air Force (3) deployed to Port Stanley and (BAM Cóndor/Goose Green).
** 3 Oerlikon 20 mm single Anti-Aircraft Cannons.
*B Battery, 101st Anti-Aircraft group (GADA 101), I Corps.(†2)
** Commander: Major Jorge Monge.
** 8 30 mm Hispano Suiza guns.
** 10 12.7 mm machine guns.
*Some Infantry units
** Blowpipe shoulder fired SAMs.


=Air Force=

* Stanley Airfield defence group.
* Goose Green Airfield defence group. (BAM Cóndor).
* Special Operations Group.
** 1 Westinghouse TPS-43F long range radar.
** 3x Oerlikon twin 35 mm guns.
** 1 Super Fledermaus fire control radar.
** 1 Elta short ranged radar.
** 15 Rheinmetall twin 20 mm anti-aircraft guns. (6 deployed in Goose Green).
** A number of SA-7 man portable short ranged SAMs.


=Navy=

* 1st Marine Anti-Aircraft Battalion "Stanley Common" (†2).
** Commander: "capitan de corbeta" Hector E. Silva .
** 3 Tigercat SAM triple launchers.
** 12 Hispano HS-831 30 mm anti-aircraft guns.

Infantry weapons

* Personal Weapons
** Browning Hi-Power
** FM PA3-DM
** M3A1 "Grease Gun"
** L34A1 Sterling
** FM FAL 50.61
** FM FAL 50.41
** Mauser M1909, "not used"
* Support Weapons
** FM FAP
** FM MAG
** Browning M2HB
** 90 mm Recoilless Rifle
** FM 60 mm Mortar
** FM 81 mm Mortar
** FM 120 mm Mortar
** Blowpipe MANPADS (Man Portable Air-Defence System)
* Anti-personnel mines
** FMK1 (mine)
** No. 4
** P4B
** SB33
* Anti-tank mines
** C3B
** FMK3
** M1
** No. 6
** SB81

Casualties

*Argentine Army: 194 (16 officers, 35 NCOs & 143 conscripts)
**list [http://www.ejercito.mil.ar/InMemori/ListadeCaidosporMalvinas.asp Argentine Army casualties]
*Argentine Navy : 34 Marines (1 officer, 3 NCOs & 30 conscripts)
*Gendarmería Nacional Argentina: 7 commandos (2 officers, 4 NCOs & 1 gendarme)

References

* "The Battle For The Falklands", Max Hastings and Simon Jenkins, ISBN 0-330-35284-9
* "Falklands Air War", Chris Hobson, ISBN 1-85780-126-1
* "The Falklands War 1982", Duncan Anderson, ISBN 1-84176-422-1
* [http://ar.geocities.com/laperlaaustral/estructu.htm Argentine Order of Battle]

External links

* [http://www.naval-history.net/F26argdefences.htm Argentine Defences on the Falklands]


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